Right on cue, the drizzle stopped, the wind filled in, and the sun shone… at times. The Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals was under way with 47 of the latest foiling machines on the water.
It may seem obvious, but doing the basic things right and consistently was key to good results. Well, that and avoiding breakages and weed. The problem of course with a foiling Moth is all these factors are really quite tricky to achieve. Nevertheless, some mastered the conditions, with home club sailor Dan Ward proving to be the best, recording all his results in the top three and saving his best for the final race of the day, and his first race win.
“More than happy about today! It doesn’t often happen to me,” said Dan. “Today was about keeping errors to a minimum. We had a few curveballs, like a tanker coming through the course at one point, but everybody seemed to come ashore talking about the odd mistakes they made. I know I made a few mistakes, but it was all about keeping consistent.”
Dan Ward on day 1 of the Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals 2021 – photo © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK
‘Local knowledge’ always helps at a venue, and Dan was sure this played a factor in his performance today:
“It was a pretty normal Stokes Bay day, maybe a little more edgy as the wind was slightly more Southerly, but it’s not until you get round the windward mark and see everyone falling all over the place that you realise how people aren’t used to this. I wouldn’t say that I was spot-on with my settings today, as there were times when the boat didn’t feel quite right, but relative to other people you know that you’re in a better position. I think having an Exocet, which is designed around the Stokes Bay area with Kevin Elway (the designer) living locally, is a massive factor.”
Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals 2021 day 1 – photo © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK
Eddie Bridle was another sailor to hit the high notes, winning the opening race and finishing second in the final race of the day:
“I just tried to keep it simple, finding my lanes, and make good of what I could. I found I had pretty good height off the starts which put me in a good group to start with. After that it was a case of holding it together.”
Eddie Bridle on day 1 of the Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals 2021 – photo © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK
Eddie is sailing a Thinair V2 and has fitted an ‘in boom’ mainsheet system, which is a development we will focus on tomorrow:
“It’s a brilliant system but took a lot of head-scratching to get there as I’ve got my cunningham inside the boom as well. There’s a lot going on in there! It seems to work well though.”
Paul Gliddon on day 1 of the Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals 2021 – photo © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK
One of the returning Moth sailors in 2021 is David Hivey, a former European Champion who took a brief break from the class to sail Musto Skiffs. He hasn’t taken long to find his pace in the fleet, but his old nemesis of weed came to haunt him in the final race of the day:
“It was a thoroughly enjoyable day today. The results don’t seem to reflect it as I was disqualified from the first race for being over the line and hit my lovely friend weed in the final race of the day when I had a good lead and got sucked back to fifth, but it was brilliant out there.
“After the first race I was overly cautious in the second, but I fought my way back and Jim (McMillan) handed me the win in the end which was quite nice of him!”
David Hivey on day 1 of the Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals 2021 – photo © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK
On what brought him back to the Moth class, David said:
“I just missed being at Weymouth every day. Seven boats going out training, when I’ve got tons of time during the week – I couldn’t really deal with how much fun they were having! 100% FOMO!”
Jim McMillan on day 1 of the Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals 2021 – photo © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK
Sadly, one of the characters of the Moth class, James Sainsbury, suffered gear failure when his rudder foil snapped off, ending his Nationals event early on his home-build boat.
An early end for James Sainsbury on day 1 of the Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals 2021 – photo © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK
The wind is set to dial up a notch on Friday which will probably shuffle the leaderboard a bit as the heavy weather experts come to the fore.
IMCA UK would like to say a massive thank-you to the event sponsors, who have been so good to the Moth class, especially during these times.
- Wetsuit Outlet – Since 2004, Wetsuit Outlet has grown from humble beginnings into Europe’s largest supplier of watersports clothing and equipment. Last year Wetsuit Outlet celebrated shipping over 2 million orders since starting 16 years ago. How did they do it? By offering quality products at competitive prices whilst having the best customer service in the business. Wetsuit Outlet stock top brands including Zhik, Gill, Musto, Gul, Crewsaver and more!
- Noble Marine – continued support has allowed IMCA to subsidise entry fees for this year’s championship, the support we receive is directly linked to the policies they provide Moth sailors with a discount for class members.
- Blueteq – as well as hosting the online entry system, they are sponsoring beer and pasta during the event.
- Maguire Boats – Builders of the market leading Exocet Moth, Simon and the team will be on site for the whole event providing support for their four-time World Championship winning boats.
- Ronstan – From the outset of Foiling Moths, Ronstan have supplied light, strong and efficient hardware in the UK and Internationally to all level of sailors. With a range of blocks designed by sailors specifically for the class it is the choice of recent World Champions.
The class encourages Moth sailors to support our sponsors wherever possible, since they are so good at supporting us.
Find out more about the class on the their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MothClassUK
by Mark Jardine